Marks and Spencer

Marks & Spencer’s new Australian website: six things to note

Marks & Spencer has just launched new localised ecommerce sites to cater to Australia and New Zealand.

Previously, Australians could shop online via M&S’s UK-run website, which delivers to 30 countries worldwide, but now they have localised payment, content and returns.

I’ve had a look through the site, trying to spot best practice or any teething problems. Here’s what’s worth knowing.

ux design

23 creative examples of hover states in ecommerce UX

Everybody loves a bit of interaction with a website. Although scrolling experiences aren’t for everyone, mouseover effects have been established for a long time.

As creative hover states feature in my design trends to watch out for in 2016 (for the creativity they afford an otherwise increasingly restrained front-end developer), I decided to roundup some of my favourite examples.

Of course, these are on desktop, where most ecommerce sales occur (for now).

How John Lewis, M&S and Debenhams handle on-site search

Not wishing to sound too astoundingly obvious right off the bat, but your on-site search tool is a key way in which visitors look for products on your website, especially if you carry a huge range of items. 

The surprising thing is how easy it is to get on-onsite search wrong: bad placement, lack of auto-suggest, poorly displayed search results, and so on. 

Marks and Spencer’s three steps to digital transformation

“Along with being the prime minister and running the BBC, people think that they can do a better job running M&S than the people doing it right now.”

This comes from Laura Wade-Geary’s keynote speech at last week’s Festival of Marketing.

Laura Wade-Geary is the executive director of multichannel at Marks and Spencer and has managed to spearhead major digital transformation for the 130-year-old retailer.

Here is some insight from the talk in regards to the three major challenges her team faced.

Where did the Marks & Spencer website relaunch go wrong?

When the news about Marks and Spencer’s sales results broke a couple of weeks ago it immediately got my attention.

The Chief Executive and other senior figureheads clearly laid the blame of the 8.1% drop in sales and resulting share price dip on the launch of its new website.

The new site comprised a smart redesign coupled with a platform shift from Amazon’s services to its own.

There have been many documented cases of website usability causing a huge impact to revenue (the $300m button being the most famous) so I wondered whether this too was one such example or whether more cynically perhaps, the City had been handed an unfortunate scapegoat. 

12 of the best branded Instagram videos of March 2014

Here are some of the finest branded Instagram videos from March 2014. 

There were some brilliant Instagram campaigns in March. One of the most encouraging success stories was WaterAid’s single Instagram video submission to a ‘weekend hashtag project’ leading to an increase in 22,000 followers in just two weeks.

You can read about that campaign and many others here: seven inspirational campaigns from WaterAid.

In other news, has the term instavids caught on as a popular portmanteau term for Instagram video yet? Lets check with Google Trends…

11 ways M&S is improving the multichannel experience

I’ve written two posts already about Marks & Spencer’s new website. It’s not a love-in, in fact both posts have generated some good debate.

Should it be so editorially led? Could the navigation be slicker? Should there be a guest checkout? Despite these issues, I’m a fan of the new look and aside from the intricacies, the new site is about finally aligning the brand’s image with top quality high street fashion.

But it’s about more than just a new website, M&S is investing across the multichannel customer journey, in the knowledge that a multichannel customer can be worth four times as much as one that only shops either on- or offline.

Here are 11 ways Marks & Spencer is enriching its multichannel business, aside from its new desktop and mobile sites and revamped apps.

M&S: a look at its sleek new mobile site

Deciding what approach to take on mobile is a debate-worthy topic, as proved by the comment thread in this post on responsive design.

Marks and Spencer has a new site that is tablet-optimized, adapting to the iPad and its competitiors via device recognition rather than screen size. The brand has also updated its apps and mobile sites. 

I thought I’d take a look at the mobile site in order to highlight a few nice features. It looks as good as the new desktop, tablet-optimized site, and I found it worked well, aside from a few niggles.

Of course, displaying large and high quality product ranges to their full potential on mobile is a challenge.

See what you think.

M&S launches new website, focuses on curation, clustering and content

The new Marks & Spencer website, two years in the making, is a feast for the eyes. As a replatform, it cost a lot of money and accompanies other changes such as an upgraded contact centre and new in-store tech and merchandising.

In this first look at the site, I’ll be pointing out the most obvious changes and discussing why it’s a step change and effectively gives the impression of ‘luxe high street’ online.

What stands out is the focus on visuals, a curated experience with magazine-style editorial, and a user experience that’s particularly impressive on tablet. This isn’t a surprising approach given that 44% of Christmas traffic to the website was from tablets and the brand is moving to a ‘lean back’ experience online for those that want it.

I’ll be following this post with more discussion of the new site and its various features that could be set to revitalise the brand across devices (the M&S mobile site and its apps have been updated, too).

Top 10 UK retailers on Pinterest

Pinterest drove an unprecedented amount of traffic to retail sites in Q4 2013 achieving a 50% quarter-over-quarter increase in revenue-per-visit (RPV).

In fact, Pinterest has overtaken Facebook for UK referral revenue and is expected to do the same in the USA this year.

This should come as no surprise. The business case for retailers investing in Pinterest is well past the tipping point. With over 70m global users, Pinterest is now the third most popular social network.

Also, with the amount of Pinterest Pin it buttons overtaking the amount of Facebook Likes on product pages, retailers are realising that Pinterest is a key way to drive sales

Does M&S deliver the best mobile customer satisfaction?

M&S and Tesco have the best mobile websites among the UK’s top 10 retailers, according to a new report.

The Foresee benchmark compares customer satisfaction scores achieved by the top online retailers in a survey carried out in November 2013.

One of the most interesting findings is that customer satisfaction on mobile lags well behind that for desktop sites, with the top 10 mobile sites averaging a score of 73 on the 100-point scale compared with 77 on desktop.

According to Foresee poor customer satisfaction has a drastic effect on sales, with every one-point increase in satisfaction translating into a 10.6% growth in a retailer’s online revenues.